14 Jun Sun and Protection
Whilst we all enjoy being in the sun, there are some dangers that arise from too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Particularly when working onsite or outdoors, there is a greater risk for sun damage to occur which can have long-term health effects.
According to studies, 1,700 persons in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with skin cancer each year as a direct outcome of occupational UV exposure.
- Even moderate reddening of the skin from exposure to the sun is a symptom of damage.
- Long-term effects of excessive exposure to the sun accelerate the ageing of the skin, making it leathery, mottled, and wrinkled. The most serious consequence is an increased risk of skin cancer.
According to HSE here’s how to best protect yourself from the sun
- Don’t forget to cover up. Clothing, especially tightly woven materials, acts as a shield from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Avoid sunburn by wearing a hat with a brim or flap that protects the back of the neck and ears.
- When possible, stay in the shade, especially during lunchtime.
- On exposed skin, use a high-factor sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Follow the product’s instructions.
- To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water.
- Inspect your skin on a routine basis for any strange patches or moles that have developed. If you see anything that has changed in shape, size, colour, itching or bleeding, consult a doctor immediately.
Here are some myths and facts surrounding sun protection
1. Skin cancer
MYTH: Skin cancer is very rare and only happens to older people.
FACT: According to Cancer Research UK, skin cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in Britain and can affect people of all ages.
MYTH: In the winter or on a cloudy day, you don’t need to use sunscreen.
FACT: Even when the weather isn’t warm or sunny, you should shield your skin from UV rays. UV rays are present all year and can reach your skin and cause damage even when clouds are present.
MYTH: An occasional sunburn isn’t harmful to your health.
FACT: According to studies, the risk of melanoma increases with the number of sunburns experienced during a person’s lifetime, even from childhood.